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Teasing is ‘good for building character’

The surprising research found that calling names such as "ranga" could be good for young people because it helps them bond and develop social skills.

sex and relationships Updated: Jan 08, 2009 19:54 IST

Playful teasing and being called names can be good for building character, a new study says.

The surprising research found that calling names such as "ranga" could be good for young people because it helps them bond and develop social skills.

It may even make "victims" more likely to take on leadership roles in the long term, reports News.com.au.

To reach the conclusion, Dr Erin Heerey, of the University of Bangor in North Wales, studied a group of university students in California and found that their "playful humiliations" led to them becoming better friends, The Daily Telegraph has reported.

In the study, boffins visited the group again a couple of years later and found that students who had been the butt of jokes were in leadership positions and now playing the same role in passing on these social norms.

According to Heerey, playground teasing was a normal part of school life and should not be stopped by politically correct teachers.

She said: "Teasing helps children to discover how to use their bodies, voices and faces to communicate nuances of meaning."